Sonora Taqueria beats crowdfund target for new restaurant

By Restaurant

- Last updated on GMT

Sonora Taqueria exceeds crowdfunding target and will open its first permanent restaurant in Stoke Newington next year

Related tags Sonora Taqueria Tacos Mexican cuisine Street food

Sonora Taqueria has exceeded its crowdfunding target, paving the way for it to open its first permanent restaurant next year.

Owners Michelle Salazar de la Rocha and Sam Napier have raised almost £74,000 to fund the new restaurant, beating the £65,000 goal they had set, with two days of the crowdfund​ still to run.

“We’re speechless. We had honestly given up at some point. Midway, it felt like this was not happening and we had to come up with a plan b,” they wrote on Instagram.

“We are so lucky and privileged to have extremely generous people in our lives that made us reach this crazy goal. More than anything, we are forever grateful to every single one of you that believes in this project enough and pledged to make it happen. This is insane.”

The duo grabbed the attention of the London food world with their hugely popular Sonora stall at Netil Market in Hackney, which closed in September. Writing on their Kickstarter page they said: “We’re incredibly proud of what we’ve done in the market, but we’ve always known we couldn’t truly be the taquería we want to be without our own place. There are small details that make a taquería which, purely due to space, the market hasn’t allowed — a salsa bar, for instance, or a cold drinks dispenser.

“We’ve never been able to offer more than a few options at once, meaning people were always wanting carne asada on the adobada days, or a michelada when I was too lazy to go buy ice. Finally, we’ve never been able to fully control the customer’s experience, from small details like the music you hear while you eat, to really important details like how long you’re likely to wait.”

Opening in Stoke Newington

The pair have found a two-storey site in Stoke Newington, according to Eater​, which they say will cost around £80,000 to transform into the taqueria. The money raised will go towards legal fees, a deposit, and the first rent payment as well as installing extraction throughout, buying kitchen equipment and fitting out the dining room.

“With this location, we’ll be able to fulfill all this and much more accurately represent the experience of eating in a Taquería, where you can pop in and grab a taco in five minutes, or spend hours working through the menu and sipping beer,” the pair add.

“With a bigger kitchen we can produce way more food, meaning we can offer a varied menu that we won’t sell out of. Having this space on site would also mean being able to produce tortillas fresh daily, render our own fat for the tortillas, make agua fresca, queso fresco, carne seca, etc. There’s just so much we want to show you.”

Image: Kickstarter

Legal action and a food hall venture

It has been an eventful year for the duo. In September, London restaurant group Taqueria threatened them with legal action​ over their use of the word ‘taqueria’, serving them with a cease and desist over the use of the word in its name and identity. However, the pair have since announced that they would not be changing their name after the receiving the backing of 130,000 signatories in an online petition supporting them.

Also in September, they announced a partnership with Arcade Food Hall at Centre Point to launch new Mexican concept Mexa.

The new Stoke Newington restaurant is expected to open early next year, with the air saying: “The real work is just about to start. We won’t forget this wild act of generosity from everyone and we will try our hardest to bring you the BEST taquería in the city.”



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